AR vs. Bren 2

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AR vs. Bren 2

#1 Post by Northern » Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:40 am

Weighing the options:

1. Bren 2 in 5.56 — concerned about future maintenance and support; but lot of things to like about this carbine; and I really appreciate CZ;

2. Ready-made ARs: just started looking at them. Important to me are ambi features, no fixed front sight, solid company reputation for support; bonus if available in .300 blk; price up to $1100;

3. Build. How huge of a project is this? Any recommended threads or resources?

Just warming up to the idea of this, but am interested in something that is fun to shoot at longer ranges.

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Re: AR vs. Bren 2

#2 Post by featureless » Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:49 am

No input on 1.

Regarding 2, .300 blk was designed for short barreled suppressed guns and that is where it performs best. There are better choices for long range. In 5.56, both Ruger and S&W make a solid entry level AR.

Regarding 3: I've built several. It's fun but can be expensive. I'm not a gunsmith, but building one is relatively easy if you can follow directions. There are hundreds of online tutorials.

My suggestion would be a 5.56 from a reliable manufacturer to get your feet wet. Then build the rest you'll inevitably acquire. :)

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Re: AR vs. Bren 2

#3 Post by Mikeinmich » Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:54 am

Ever since I got the Scorpion I’ve been looking at the Brens. I really like the Scorpion’s ergonomics. The Browns look very similar. But if you want to spend around $1100, that’s only almost half of what the Bren pistols cost at the moment. Ive seen some pistols in the $ 1,700 range but most are around 2,000. I’ve seen one of the highly elusive carbines on GB and it went for about $2,400. Even if you pin and weld a comp etc, to the barrel one of the pistol with 14 inch barrel and get a stock for it you’d still be pushing about $2100 if you could find a cheaper pistol to start with. They do look super cool, and I’ll probably get a carbine when there are more out there.

As for an AR, I bought one from someone here and had it changed a little by my neighbor/gunsmith. I like mine, which is now set up for coyotes. That’s one of the best things about an AR. You can change everything you want to. But I have no idea how hard it is to build one from scratch.

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Re: AR vs. Bren 2

#4 Post by Northern » Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:54 am

(Should have been clearer — I meant if a .300 blk is available for it, to swap out.)

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Re: AR vs. Bren 2

#5 Post by Northern » Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:56 am

Mikeinmich wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:54 am Ever since I got the Scorpion I’ve been looking at the Brens. I really like the Scorpion’s ergonomics. The Browns look very similar. But if you want to spend around $1100, that’s only almost half of what the Bren pistols cost at the moment. Ive seen some pistols in the $ 1,700 range but most are around 2,000. I’ve seen one of the highly elusive carbines on GB and it went for about $2,400. Even if you pin and weld a comp etc, to the barrel one of the pistol with 14 inch barrel and get a stock for it you’d still be pushing about $2100 if you could find a cheaper pistol to start with. They do look super cool, and I’ll probably get a carbine when there are more out there.

As for an AR, I bought one from someone here and had it changed a little by my neighbor/gunsmith. I like mine, which is now set up for coyotes. That’s one of the best things about an AR. You can change everything you want to. But I have no idea how hard it is to build one from scratch.
Same for me, love the Scorpion. I’d be willing to wait and save for the Bren 2. There are some reported problems with them so I’m hoping that gets cleared up.

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Re: AR vs. Bren 2

#6 Post by Mikeinmich » Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:56 am

I’ve been looking at that too. From what I’ve been reading on one of the cz forums, the problems seem to involve the gas regulator and/or the stock gas piston spring, particularly with the 762 models. HB industries has a service (With parts) to fix both problems for around 60 bucks. I’m not sure much if any of that applies to the carbine, but that might be because there's not that many of them and they’re only made in .556. I keep toying with the idea of getting a 14” barrel pistol and then having a flash hider pinned and welded so I can get a stock. But that’s probably because I can’t find a carbine anywhere yet. I know, first world problems. lol

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Re: AR vs. Bren 2

#7 Post by Northern » Fri Jan 22, 2021 12:29 pm

I read that, probably on the same forums. I had not read that the HB fox works for sure and would want to read more accounts of it fixing the problem. It’s to pricey of a gun to not work great as is, new! But it has a lot going for it.
Have you looked on gunbroker? Not sure about Brens but there are an amazing number of NIB Scorpions for sale at the moment.

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Re: AR vs. Bren 2

#8 Post by Mikeinmich » Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:32 pm

I just looked (again). There are a pretty good number of Bren pistols, but no carbines. I think it might be a backup in their Europe factories. ? But it’s too cold to shoot outside for very long and I’m not going to an indoor range yet, and I still have two other rifles to sight in. So I’ll wait patiently. 😊

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Re: AR vs. Bren 2

#9 Post by Northern » Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:41 pm

Me too!

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Re: AR vs. Bren 2

#10 Post by HaydenGC » Mon Jan 25, 2021 6:13 pm

Quick disclosure, I love the AR platform and own several. I am, to a degree, biased towards this platform.

I have never shot a Bren 2, however, drool enough about them. They have maintained a reputation of reliability and craftmanship. They are more akin of the SCAR and ACR style of weapons.

In comparison with the AR platform, other than sharing the same kind of ammunition and being mag fed semi autos, they differ quite a lot. Depending on what you are looking to achieve with acquiring one can weigh in a bit. Piston v. Direct Impingement (ARs can be Piston, if purchased/converted). Do you like the ability to fold the stock to create a more compact Firearm? (You can purchase adapters to do so with the AR). I think resell would greatly fall, in most cases, to the BREN 2, as ARs vary in build, manufacturer, material and quality (to a degree), whereas the Bren 2 is more specific of a rifle. Right now, everything is overinflated, but in a normal sense, ARs range from $350 to $3,500, but selling a gucci AR for close to what you payed or put in can be difficult. Selling the Bren 2 close to what you purchased, possibly more if the time is right, is a more feasible endeavor (look at the FN SCAR).

Finding Ambi ARs is more commonplace. Converting an AR to have ambi controls is generally an easy feat. Same with low profile gas blocks. The F marked fixed front sight gas block is more of a secondary option to low profile gas blocks. And with the amazing variety of sights for the AR platform, it's of no detriment. To say the AR market is overcrowded is an understatement. However, there are so many reputable companies that make AR parts, and most now make complete rifles, that scrutiny is more of a reaction than a tactic. That said, Customer Service within the Firearms market varies, and sometimes changes, and having a company that you feel properly supports you is a good goal. Personally, I stand by Palmetto State Armory (PSA). Their prices are fair, their options are close to endless and their CS is fantastic (granted, in the days of COVID, all CS is pretty inundated). Brownells is another company I always hold with high praise. In regards to .300 AAC, this round has exploded in popularity, so finding a upper or rifle in this caliber is pretty much as easy as 5.56/.223. And, worst case, once you buy a AR15, you can always buy a .300 AAC upper, and slap it on the lower.

Concerning building, I have never built an Upper, as it requires some tools I do not have, but I have built two (2) lowers. Coming from a guy who struggles to properly hang pictures on walls, if I can do it, anyone can. I, at the time, used Youtube as a resource to aid me. As long as you have all the parts (part lists readily available, and most companies make it clear what you may need to add), preferably some punches, good lighting, a solid surface and some time, building a lower is achievable and gratifying! (Be warned, it is a slippery slope that leads to more lowers).

If I were given the option between an AR and a Bren 2, I would buy the Bren. ARs, at least they were and I assume normality will return in some fashion in this regard, are a "dime a dozen", can be bought or built with minimal money, in the schemes of rifles with military characteristics. The Bren is different, reliable and utilitarian. They represent a type of rifle in high demand, but low supply, and I figure that will not change.

If you are looking for Long Distance Shooting, I would suggest the AR platform. Getting an AR to shoot sub MOA (not that the Bren 2 is inaccurate) can be fairly accessible and "easy". The AR platform is an accurate one, improving it requires some money and the internet.

All in all, just my opinion, mixed with a keyboard and excitement of guns.

Good luck!

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Re: AR vs. Bren 2

#11 Post by rascally » Mon Jan 25, 2021 7:28 pm

AR uppers are easier than lowers to build *IF* you have (or have access to) a solidly mounted vice , a Geissele reaction rod and a torque wrench. Nowhere near as many small
parts. If a slick side you don't even need a punch.

Just don't forget the anti-seize compound.


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Re: AR vs. Bren 2

#12 Post by Northern » Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:02 pm

Appreciated Hayden’s discussion and rascally’s addendum. It sounds like I have more research ahead of me. Inventories appear to be extremely limited at the moment so it’s probably for the best to just keep watching what’s out there, and try to learn more about direct impingement, pistons, etc. What I have, the Scorpion Evo 3, is a simple blowback system, so I’d like to learn more about the options.

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Re: AR vs. Bren 2

#13 Post by Northern » Mon Feb 01, 2021 2:22 pm

In addition to Bren fever, I seem to be suffering an episode of Tavor X95 lust... especially the fact that the ejection port is switchable to the left side, and the idea of having a rifle with a full length barrel in a compact package is super appealing to me.

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Re: AR vs. Bren 2

#14 Post by Tedzilla » Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:20 am

Northern wrote: Mon Feb 01, 2021 2:22 pm In addition to Bren fever, I seem to be suffering an episode of Tavor X95 lust... especially the fact that the ejection port is switchable to the left side, and the idea of having a rifle with a full length barrel in a compact package is super appealing to me.
I succumbed to Tavor X95 lust and am very pleased with it. If the ATF ever approves the muffler I bought last March, I'll be very very pleased with the X95. The gun is a natural for suppression.
I: ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED
II: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY
III: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET
IV: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET AND WHAT'S BEHIND IT

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Re: AR vs. Bren 2

#15 Post by Northern » Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:29 am

The Tavor prices on GB are going crazy now, unfortunately. Are you sure about suppressors on it? The ejection port is so close to your face, I will be surprised if it isn’t puffing gas right into your face.

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Re: AR vs. Bren 2

#16 Post by lurker » Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:11 pm

that's not a bren gun, THIS https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bren_light_machine_gun is a bren gun. and they come with their own carriers, too! https://www.militarytrader.com/military ... al-carrier

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Re: AR vs. Bren 2

#17 Post by Tedzilla » Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:41 pm

Northern wrote: Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:29 am The Tavor prices on GB are going crazy now, unfortunately. Are you sure about suppressors on it? The ejection port is so close to your face, I will be surprised if it isn’t puffing gas right into your face.
Check these videos by Colion Noir and MAC, you'll see there's no real problem with gas from the ejector port:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WV5QCHTFcK4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lslFaCvv8TU
MAC says the X95 is no better and no worse than an AR15, Colion was having too much fun and didn't even mention it...
I: ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED
II: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY
III: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET
IV: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET AND WHAT'S BEHIND IT

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Re: AR vs. Bren 2

#18 Post by Northern » Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:57 pm

Cool, I’ll check it out. Was hoping there would be some reason to cool my heels regarding acquiring a Tavor 🤣

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Re: AR vs. Bren 2

#19 Post by Mikeinmich » Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:43 pm

Well it’s not like you’ll get a great deal on a carbine version “new” Bren either. I was watching one on gunbroker that’s up to $3,325 with 18 hours to go. :o That’s more than the x95s seem to be and not much less than a Tavor 7. This is crazy.

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Re: AR vs. Bren 2

#20 Post by Northern » Sat Feb 27, 2021 9:08 am

Yeah it’s wild to watch those auctions. I’m kicking myself for not bidding on a Tavor a while back that actually ended at a reasonable price point.

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Re: AR vs. Bren 2

#21 Post by BillyRaysMullet » Mon Mar 01, 2021 6:09 pm

Northern wrote: Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:40 am Weighing the options:

1. Bren 2 in 5.56 — concerned about future maintenance and support; but lot of things to like about this carbine; and I really appreciate CZ;
I'm not going to pretend to be any sort of expert on the Bren 2, but in my limited experience they are well made quality guns. CZ is a great company and manufacturer. However, parts availability in the future is a concern. The AR has the edge on this front. There is a huge domestic industry dedicated to making AR rifles and parts. Quality varies between ok to excellent on these parts, but generally tend to work.
2. Ready-made ARs: just started looking at them. Important to me are ambi features, no fixed front sight, solid company reputation for support; bonus if available in .300 blk; price up to $1100;
AR's in this price range currently are most likely only going to be in 5.56. While there are some good rifles in this price range, they're going to be very basic. No frills, but functional and will serve any low to medium volume shooter just fine and last a long time.
3. Build. How huge of a project is this? Any recommended threads or resources?

Just warming up to the idea of this, but am interested in something that is fun to shoot at longer ranges.
Build is what I really recommend to pretty much everyone. Even those who are totally new so long as they're mechanically inclined. It's very easy to do, and even saves you a bit of money (in more stable times). Pro's to building vs. modifying off the shelf rifles:
1. When you're paying for an off the shelf rifle, you're paying for every piece on it. Including some you may not even want. So by building at home, you have what you want from the start and can have a well tuned rifle on your very first range trip. Most off the shelf rifles are overgassed. This is done to ensure reliability across the board. But that means your rifle will experience some accelerated wear, more recoil (though on an AR, the recoil is pretty minimal), and more muzzle climb. If you want quick follow up shots, you want to keep your muzzle flat. Compensators help, but there is no substitute for properly tuned rifles. Longer gas system (midlength on a 16" barrel is recommended, but rifle length on a 20" barrel is even better) helps, as does a heavier buffer and adjustable gas block to restrict gas entering the system is the best way. If you wanna shoot suppressed this is especially important.
2. Assembling these guns can be a bit tedious where the lower receiver is concerned. It's infinitely worse if you wanna disassemble and rebuild, especially if what you wanna change is roll pinned in place (see trigger guard and bolt catch). Not to mention the springs holding in detents that like to fly across the room if you're not careful.
4. Know it's done right. While not a frequent occurence there have been instances where the manufacturer assembling off the rack guns don't properly torque down the barrels or buffer tubes/ receiver extensions. When you build your own you get to personally assure the parts are correctly fitted and torqued to spec. While you're at it, lap your barrel to your upper receiver. This will get rid of imperfections in machining that keep your barrel and upper receiver from mating as true as they could. This improves accuracy slightly, and keeps the torque of the barrel nut distributed evenly. It's not necessary, but it's definitely a functional improvement.
5. Get the caliber and rifling twist rate you want. Maybe you don't want 5.56/.223. By building your own, you can order the barrel that best suits your needs and desires. Wanna do more long range shooting? Maybe consider 224 valkyrie. Varmint shooting more your kind of hobby? A lighter, speedier, flatter trajectory of .204 Ruger could be just what the doctor ordered. Whatever you want, there's a barrel out there that will suit your needs.
6. The satisfaction only DIY can bring.

TL;DR:
By building your own you get the opportunity to trim the fat. Get everything you want and nothing you don't from the start. Think about what you would change on an off the shelf rifle. Trigger? Gas block? Sights? Stock, pistol grip, safety selector, and or handguard? By building your own you get to have your "perfect" setup from the start.

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